Imagine being a loyal servant of the Imperium. Ugh. Sounds awful. Not nearly enough pointy ears or nonsense flying tanks if you ask me. Nonetheless today, just for you, I will put myself through the trauma of contemplating that very thing, because Chapter Approved 2018 is here, and with it a (very welcome) new development – the first Beta Codex of 8th edition, covering the Sisters of Battle and some of the various hangers-on of the Adeptus Ministorum.
GW have already let us know that they’re working on a new plastic range for the Sisters to be released late next year, but because that’s such a long way down the line, they’ve decided to give us a “Beta” codex for people to play with now, and want feedback on how it plays. At a Studio Preview that I went to in November, they said that they would be gathering feedback up till the end of the first quarter of 2019, after which it would likely be too late to feed into playtest, production and printing cycles, so if you do play with this book and have opinions (and I imagine people are going to) make sure to get them in before that deadline. I’m a huge fan of both giving Sisters players their rules early, and also of getting more players involved in the playtesting process, and think this move is a great one.
I’ve spent today (in between doing various batches of Christmas shopping) diving into my copy of Chapter Approved so that I can give you my take on the new rules. We’ll cover some core stuff first, tour through some units (especially ones I think stand out) and then finish with an army list I’ve put together that I think shows off what this book can do. Inevitably as more people play with it there are bound to be some great tricks I haven’t spotted, and the new Acts of Faith bring with them a whole new resource-management economy that I might be wildly off on my read on, so I don’t promise that this is where Sisters will end up, but I think I’ve got a list that could tangle with plenty of the current favourites and give a good accounting of itself.
Having now digested the book, I thought it would be useful to start with a very high level summary of what i think it’s strengths and weaknesses are, because I think that informs how you should expect them to play if you’re interested in starting an army or want to adapt to the new rules, and what to be wary of if you’re up against them.
|Excellent and highly cost-effective infantry.||Orders are a bit shallow thanks to a lack of specific Relics/Warlord Traits and some effects that seem less useful than intended.|
|Some very powerful offensive strategems and combos.||New Acts of Faith are very different to current ones and close off a lot of potent tricks.|
|Stacking Shield of Faith buffs seems like a route to an outstandingly hard-to-shift army.||No shooting above S8 puts a reliance on getting close to counter heavily mechanised armies.|
As you’ll see from my list later, I think the best builds available out of this book are ones that leverage the very powerful offensive strategems a few units have access to, the great value that the average Sister represents, and the extremely powerful stacking buffs you get get out of Shield of Faith. I expect Sisters to be an infantry army that primarily uses a “mobile castle” of quality troops to rove around the battlefield throwing vicious punches into enemy high-value targets. Good value transports help enable additional mobility, and shield key alpha units within.
The above Sisters army belongs to my friend Jess, who blogs about 40k and other gaming at https://sisterofshouting.blogspot.com, and has all the key elements of exactly what you want to be doing with the new book. I feel like it gives you armies that should be an absolute blast on the table, both rewarding tight offensive play but also being able to take enough of a punch that badly whiffed turn or phase doesn’t make it game over. It looks a lot more like “my jam” than any other Imperial faction, which I suppose shouldn’t be that surprising, because a mobile, combo-based army is a lot more “elfy” than your average Space Marine force.
For those not familiar with the Sisters, of course, some of the words I’m using here aren’t going to mean much. What are these “Acts of Faith” I keep talking about? Lets quickly run through the core army rules before getting onto the individual units.
Acts of Faith
Acts of Faith have been the core “gimmick” for Sisters this edition. Previously to the Codex, they effectively allowed you to take extra “actions” (moving, shooting, fighting) at the start of your turn for a certain number of units in your army (starting low, boosted by various effects). This was obviously extremely powerful, as anything that lets you get more “bang for your buck” out of your units by taking extra rounds of whatever they do best is really, really good. There’s a reason Ynnari have been one of the top dogs for this entire edition despite massive nerfs being applied to “Strength From Death”, and I was certainly wondering just how good Acts of Faith would turn out to be once attached to a codex’s worth of new rules and strategems.
Well it turns out we don’t have to answer that question (and as a side note, that maybe Ynnari players should be a bit apprehensive about their rumoured codex next year) because Acts of Faith have been completely overhauled. You now have a pool of “Faith Points” for your army, which can be spent to activate one of 6 “Acts of Faith”, each of which costs a faith point to activate. When you use one, you pick an eligible unit, then roll against a target number to see if it goes off. Effectively, they’re a bit like a parallel set of Strategems that are both rather more spammable for their power level, but have the risk of not working when you need them the most.
Your faith pool is increased by 1 for every full ten infantry with the ability in your army, and there are a number of ways to both get more faith points and manipulate the roll to activate these. There’s broadly one “offensive” one for each phase – a movement phase one that increases a unit’s move, a shooting one that adds 1 to rolls, and a melee one that lets a unit fight twice, then some “defensive” tricks as well – one for defending against mortals in the psychic phase, one for healing/restoring models and one for auto-passing morale. Notably, there’s also a potentially very powerful (though pricey at 3CP) strategem that lets a character who activates an Act of Faith successfully pass the effect on to all Adeptus Sororitas units within 6″ (which quirkily, includes their vehicles which otherwise can’t benefit from them).
As a bonus in the abstract, these are great – while they aren’t 100% reliable, they’re strong effects and you can get them to be pretty consistent if you set up a way to get re-rolls or are willing to spend CP, and you can pull some spectacular plays off using the strategem mentioned above. However, the elephant in the room is that they are not, any longer, whole free extra moves or sets of attacks, which considerably changes the landscape from the way they’ve played up till now.
Honestly I think that’s fine, and better game design to boot. Anyone who’s played a lot of 8th can attest that extra actions need to be very carefully balanced, and units acting at times they normally wouldn’t can also cause rules headaches. The new acts of faith system works a lot better as an army mechanic, whereas what the old one was best for was turbo-charging a few units (usually Celestine, sometimes Seraphim with Inferno Pistols) tapped into other armies. Especially powered up by the strategem, the new Acts of Faith have a lot to offer a skilled player, but I imagine the adjustment phase for some players is going to be a little tough.
Shield of Faith
All Adeptus Sororitas units (and a few others) within the Codex have “Shield of Faith”, which gives them a 6+ invuln save, and the ability for each unit to Deny the Witch on 1D6. By themselves, both of these are marginal nice to haves – the deny will occasionally stop a Smite, the 6++ will occasionally save a vehicle from a Volcano Lance shot. However, one of the things the Codex offers is ways to power both of these up significantly – Celestine has an aura of “+1 to Shield of Faith saves” (with some extras for specific units), and there’s also a warlord trait that sets the starting Shield of Faith save to 5++ in a 6″ bubble. Combining those for a near army-wide 4++ within a well deployed castle is obviously outrageously good, and I expect to see that as the core of most competitive Sisters lists.
There’s also a relic which changes the Deny of all units within 6″ to be a full 2D6 deny rather than the 1D6, which is obviously a great relic to buy if you find yourself up against Thousand Sons or Grey Knights (not Craftworld Eldar, obviously, do not under any circumstances buy this relic against Craftworld Eldar because, uh, reasons).
The increased ability to leverage this ability via the warlord trait and relic is one of the biggest gains in the Codex, for my money.
Various Adeptus Ministorum hangers-on have the “Zealot” ability, which allows them to re-roll hits in the turn they charged.
This is the big one, like most other armies the Sororitas now get “subfaction traits”, allowing you to pick one of six “Orders” your army comes from and get a special rule that applies to your units. Sadly, much like for Space Marines this only applies to your “Infantry”, so your vehicles don’t benefit, but getting these is obviously a huge boost to your core units.
Sadly, what isn’t in the beta codex that most factions do get are a set of subfaction-specific warlord traits and relics. This is a bit of a shame – access to these is a huge part of the “depth” of subfactions in other codices, and from a competitive point of view, one of the major angles for pulling off sneaky micro-optimisations of tournament lists (just look at how I use Drukari tricks in some of my recent Aeldari armies for example). I was honestly expecting to see these here, and they seem a bit conspicious by their absence – I assume we’ll definitely get some in the full codex, but I feel like GW might be underestimating just how important these are to the competitive scene here.
The Convictions themselves are a bit of a mixed bag, and I again feel like most aren’t quite there yet on power level.
Two of them (Our Martyred Lady and Argent Shroud) give you more faith points when either your units die or you kill your opponent’s units. These seem a bit weak – the list I’ve drawn up starts with 9 faith points, and there are multiple ways to turn CP into faith when you need to (and I’m expecting most armies to run at least a dual battalion because the core units are so great).I don’t really think you need the avalanche of extra faith points either of these will give you. For my money, these are the “bottom tier” ones (I could be way out on this call, we’ll soon see), and definitely strike me as traits that are missing accompanying strategems that really thirst for CP to make them great..
The “mid tier” choices are Sacred Rose, a mash-up of Tau Sept and Iyanden, and Ebon Chalice, which adds +1 to Test of Faith rolls for the unit. Sacred Rose is fine on paper, but in practice this army already has a lot of ways to mitigate morale, and Tau Sept overwatch is only super-great because of “For the Greater Good”. It does make some units charging at your melta-lines super dicey though, and isn’t bad. Ebon Chalice definitely has some game to it – I can see uses for it on either a few tapped in characters to trigger the “share my act of faith” strategem (because that doesn’t require matching order keywords) or on some key alpha units which need to hit their Acts on demand. However, it’s held back from being a great army wide choice by severe diminishing returns – you can only use each “Act of Faith” once per battle round, and they won’t all come up every turn, so a lot of the time this won’t be doing anything for a lot of your units.
The “top tier” as far as I’m concerned are Valorous Heart (which gives a nice clean 6+ FNP across the board) and Bloody Rose, which gives units +1 strength and attacks when they charge, are charged or heroically intervene. The Bloody Rose is my pick for best here, because it adds a lot of depth to the army – suddenly if you need them to your basic sister units can punch out some guard or kabalites. It also helps your characters and Repentia units do a lot better in combat – S3 to S4 with a power sword makes a world of difference for a Canoness, and because you evaluate weapon multipliers after adding S characteristic buffs, Repentia (and characters using Index option Eviscerators if your event allows it) are suddenly S8 rather than S6, which is gigantically relevant.
Happily, given how good she is, while Celestine doesn’t get an Order conviction she doesn’t stop your detachments gaining one if you include her. The same is true of a few other Sisters units that are “orderless” for fluff reasons, and for all the Adeptus Ministorum stuff.
That covers all of the key things you need to know about the army-wide rules, now lets do our dash through each battlefield role, and highlight the key players in each.
For each section of the codex, I’m going to do one-line thoughts about each unit, then digress into anything I feel needs more explanation.
- Celestine: Still fantastic in a Sisters army because her Shield of Faith buff is even better, no longer all that by herself, which is honestly probably a good thing.
- Canoness: Outrageously cheap for how good they are. Combi-melta is probably a good default choice, Power Sword also strong for Bloody Rose or to be turned into the Blade of Admonition.
- Uriah Jacobus: A “Missionary” who’s slightly better in every way for 15 more points. Oddly, I still think you often take a base missionary a lot of the time, because the basic “War Hymns” aura is what you want them for.
- Missionary: An HQ version of a Ministorum Priest. Nice for army construction, as he’s very cheap, you usually do want one and canonesses have diminishing returns after a while.
Not too much to say here beyond that – Canonesses are perfect good core HQs, and I expect most “pure” sisters armies to run Celestine and a Missionary in some of their HQ slots. The Missionary is also a relevant thing to consider if you have some reason to want to tap some Sisters stuff into a guard army, because he fills the role of a Ministorum Priest for Astra Militarum as well (for fewer points, for some reason).
As mentioned before, if you’re playing Bloody Rose and use Index options, Canonesses with Eviscerators are kind of killing machines.
- Battle Sisters: Your only choice here. Luckily, they’re really, really good at 9pts.
Seriously though, core sisters units are just great at their cost. You can also effectively take up to three special weapons per squad, including the surprising flexibility on the superior. As it is, Acts of Faith and the Sisters strategems reward you concentrating your special weapons in a few squads, which Dominions are usually your best bet for, so mostly on basic sisters squads I’d just spend the six extra points to add three storm bolters, because getting the firepower of three additional sisters for the cost of less than one is (checks notes) quite good.
I wouldn’t bother with the Simulacrum Imperialis here (10pt wargear to add +1 to Act of Faith rolls), those are better used for the squads we’ll get to in a bit.
As a note, for some reason, all of the “Ministorum” elites choices don’t take up a detachment slot if you have a Ministorum Priest (which is a keyword, so Missionary or Preacher) in the detachment. Every time I see this it sort of reads like GW thinks this is an “upside” when it really kind of…isn’t? I’d really like to see this “optional” except in cases where it could be heavily abused, which I don’t think it would be here.
- Geminae Superia: You can actually take these without Celestine now, though I don’t really think you ever would. Still a good choice when you do have her, which will be always, so a good choice. At least somewhat harder to “cheese” with now.
- Celestians: +2 points on a basic sister for +1WS, +1 attack and the ability to bodyguard for <order> Characters. It’s only a small premium, but probably isn’t worth it most of the time – these aren’t horrible, especially in Bloody Rose, but you want to spend your “premium” points on setting up combos with Dominion squads.
- Crusaders: Extremely resilient thanks to their storm shields, and a big beneficiary of the “anti-psychic” act of faith, as being picked apart by Smite was a big weakness. However, suffer now that it’s easier to stick 4++ on other units and not having a way to jump out of S3.
- Death Cult Assassins: Very cool, and theoretically much better at killing stuff than Crusaders, but suffer from being much more fragile than those and less good at blendering things than…
- Arco-Flagellants: Outrageously good at murdering things in melee thanks to getting buffed by the various flavours of Priest, and now having access to a strategem that gives them 9 attacks each when buffed by a priest. Very squishy outside a transport.
- Repentia: A bit lacklustre outside of Bloody Rose, quite interesting in that. Suffer a lot from not being able to take a Simulacrum, as you really want to land the “double fight” Act of Faith on these. Big beneficiaries of the ability to push “Shield of Faith” to a 4++ because of their lack of other save.
- Mistress of Repentence: I mean if you have Repentia you take one.
- Preacher: 10pts less than a Missionary for largely the same effect (since the +1 attack is what you care about) but this not filling an HQ tax slot means the missionary is usually better.
- Dialogus: Allows units within 6 to re-roll Act of Faith rolls, A++, take one.
- Hospitalier: Sisters apothecary, fine if you have the points but not mandatory like the Dialogus.
There’s lots of cool flavourful choices here, most of which are fine for casual games, but competitively we’re mostly looking at Dialogus (which is a 1-of auto-take in most armies), Crusaders (if you want a serious tar-pit) and then trying to decide between Arco-Flagellants or Repentia. Outside of Bloody Rose Flagellants are the clear winner, and for my money take the general crown because they are genuinely “best in breed” at wiping out mid-quality infantry. Thanks to Zealot, a charging squad of 9 with a Missionary in tow will average 30+ wounds against a squad of Ork boyz without blowing “Extremis Trigger Word”, which expert viewers may recognise as one more wound than a 200+ pt squad of 30 boyz with a Nob has. With that strategem, they can strip off half the wounds of a knight, and rise to the challenge of even taking 40 cultists off the board in a single round of combat.
Repentia pale a bit in comparison to that except in the case that you’re playing Bloody Rose and trying to kill Knights. The ability to hit S8 massively changes the maths here, and suddenly your nine Repentia (with a Mistress and a Priest) hit a mean of a cool 18 wounds per swing at a T8 3+ target – and obviously you have a chance of making them swing twice.
I anticipate most Sisters armies running either a squad of Repentia (if they’re Bloody Rose) or Flagellants in a Rhino as a melee bomb. For my money, I prefer Flagellants simply because they do a job (sweeping infantry) better than almost anything else in the game for their cost, and anything that can claim that is worth paying attention to.
- Seraphim: Big losers from the Act of Faith changes. Still cool, and their new strategem is nice, but I’m not convinced this is really what you want to be doing.
- Dominions: In contrast, these are the big winners from various of the new strategems, and the lynchpin of the best ways to use the various combo options.
Dominions gain massively from two strategems:
- Blessed Bolts: as previewed on the GW site, this makes all Storm bolters in a unit AP-2 and D2 for a phase. Nice.
- Holy Trinity: If the whole unit targets the same target, and fires at least one Bolt Weapon, Flame Weapon and Melta Weapon, the whole squad gets +1 to wound.
Both of these let variously equipped Dominion squads do some nasty work. The fact that they’re such good targets for strategems means that Dominions definitely do want a Simulacrum, as you can boost their output even higher by adding the +1 to hit Act of Faith on them first, and then also, especially for “Holy Trinity” trigger the 1CP strategem to give you re-roll 1s to wound on a unit that made a test of faith for the rest of the phase.
Detonating various combos via Dominions is, I think, going to be bread and butter for Sisters armies. I expect you to want at least one squad maxed on storm bolters for Blessed Bolts and one squad set up for Trinity (which I think is best as Superior with combi-flamer, 4 meltaguns and a sister with Simulacrum and boltgun) in most Sisters armies. I actually think you often won’t want to use their scout move – keeping them with the castle is too important.
- Retributors: In theory another cool place to put the various strategems – in practice Dominions do it better, because their guns are cheaper and aren’t Heavy. Squads with lots of heavy bolters buffed to a 4++ might be cool to do as a cheap but effective gunline.
- Penitent Engines: A bit of a miss. They will turbo murder anything crunchy that they get into contact with (two of these will have a good go at killing a whole knight in a single phase) but they’re really slow and really vulnerable. Desperately need to have “Shield of Faith”, but don’t.
- Exorcists: Really quite good at 125 per pop, and given they’re really the only really long ranged firepower you can bring, expect a decent number of these in spearheads filling out armies to close that weakness.
Of these things, I really only expect to see Exorcists much – both the others have too many glaring problems.
Exorcists have a lot going for them – If you can deploy them with a 4++ they’re very resilient, and being both T8 and high threat at only 125 points is great. Another place where fringe usage of the “share an act of faith” strategem is potentially relevant – a Canoness standing next to 3 of these using the +1 to hit act with the strat damn near makes the three of them autohit for the turn (technically 97% hit rate but you know).
- Sororitas Rhino: Cheap and cheerful, also massively better than a marine Rhino because you can reliably give it a 4++.
- Immolater: More killy, less transporty. All flavours potentially nice, but I think the Multi-melta gets outshined by things you can do with Holy Trinity elsewhere. I also expect you want to be moving, so defaulting to the Immolation Flamer seems a safe bet.
Transports are real good in this army – I think your regular sisters are both tough and expendable enough that you don’t need every model in a transport, but I think you want your alpha units (usually Dominions and one of the two melee bomb options) wrapped up safely. That these benefit both from baseline Shield of Faith and Celestine’s buff/the warlord trait is outrageously good.
Traits, Relics and Strategems
We’ve touched on most of the strategems which I think are really relevant, but there’s a couple more that I think will come up a lot:
- Purity of Faith: Cancel a psychic power on a 4+ as long as the caster is within 24″ of a sisters unit. Having a 75% chance (if you’re willing to blow a CP) to stop something like Doom can be incredibly clutch (noooo we hates it nasty strategem hisssssss).
- Sacred Banner of the Order Militant: For 1CP (one use only) pre-battle you can upgrade a unit’s Simulacrum to let them declare +1 to their Shield of Faith at the start of a Battle Round once per battle. I’d expect to buff one of my “combo alpha strike” pieces with this, as it potentially puts your opponent onto a horrible choice of “try and chew through a 3++” or “let them do that horrible thing again next turn”.
Warlord traits…look there’s basically one that gives base 5++ Shield of Faith within 6″ and five others that are not that. None of the others are even close. The only one I can see having game is one that reduces enemy psychic rolls by 1 within 12″, and that only in some sort of soup thing. Take the 5++ Shield of Faith.
Relics are all at least interesting, but there are three that stand out.
The Blade of Admonition is still here, and still great, and totally worth throwing a point at if you have nothing better to do.
The Book of St. Lucius increases the radius of the bearer’s aura abilities by 3. This is fantastic on a Canoness with the above mentioned warlord trait, and I expect to see that as the “default” relic a lot.
The Brazier of Holy Flame allows all units within 6″ of the bearer to fully deny rather than only do so on 1D6. This is obviously great against some armies.
In general, I expect almost all competitive “full sisters” lists to run a warlord with the Book of St. Lucius and the 5++ trait, and then buy the Blade of Admonition or Brazier of Holy Flame dependent on matchup.
Based on everything above, this is what I’ve come up with as an example list:
Army List - Click to Expand Battalion – Order of the Bloody Rose – 1129pts HQ Celestine – 160pts Canoness w/Combi Melta and Power Sword (Warlord – 5++ Trait + Book of St. Lucius) – 64pts Troops 2×5 Sisters with 3 Storm Bolters – 102pts 1×6 Sisters with 3 Storm Bolters – 60pts Elites Gemina Superia x2 – 50 pts Dialogus – 30pts Fast Attack Dominion Squad – 6 Sisters, 5 Storm Bolters, 1 Simulacrum – 80pts Dominion Squad – 10 Sisters, Combi-flamer on Superior, 4 meltaguns, 1 Simulacrum, upgraded to Sacred Banner – 174pts Dominion Squad – 6 Sisters, Combi-flamer on Superior, 4 meltaguns, 1 Simulacrum – 134pts Transports Rhino – 75pts 2x Immolator with Immolation Flamer + Storm Bolter – 200pts Battalion – Order of the Bloody Rose – 447pts HQ Canoness w/Power Sword – 49pts Missionary – 35pts Troops 3×5 Sisters with 3 Storm Bolters – 153pts Elites 9x Arco-Flagellant – 135pts Transports Rhino – 75pts Spearhead – Order of the Bloody Rose – 420pts HQ Canoness – 45pts Heavy Support 3x Exorcist – 375pts Total – 1996pts, 14CP (-1 for banner), 9 Faith Points (60 infantry)
Battalion – Order of the Bloody Rose – 1129pts
Celestine – 160pts
Canoness w/Combi Melta and Power Sword (Warlord – 5++ Trait + Book of St. Lucius) – 64pts
2×5 Sisters with 3 Storm Bolters – 102pts
1×6 Sisters with 3 Storm Bolters – 60pts
Gemina Superia x2 – 50 pts
Dialogus – 30pts
Dominion Squad – 6 Sisters, 5 Storm Bolters, 1 Simulacrum – 80pts
Dominion Squad – 10 Sisters, Combi-flamer on Superior, 4 meltaguns, 1 Simulacrum, upgraded to Sacred Banner – 174pts
Dominion Squad – 6 Sisters, Combi-flamer on Superior, 4 meltaguns, 1 Simulacrum – 134pts
Rhino – 75pts
2x Immolator with Immolation Flamer + Storm Bolter – 200pts
Battalion – Order of the Bloody Rose – 447pts
Canoness w/Power Sword – 49pts
Missionary – 35pts
3×5 Sisters with 3 Storm Bolters – 153pts
9x Arco-Flagellant – 135pts
Rhino – 75pts
Spearhead – Order of the Bloody Rose – 420pts
Canoness – 45pts
3x Exorcist – 375pts
Total – 1996pts, 14CP (-1 for banner), 9 Faith Points (60 infantry)
This list hits all the right notes to really show off what the Sisters can do. First of all, it’s worth taking a step back and noting that this is a huge number of quality power-armoured models to be putting down on the table, backed up by 7 vehicles, and every last one of both will have access to an invuln save varying from OK to good.
The key “offensive” units are the three units of Dominions and the Flagellants. The big unit of Dominions is ready to go “all-in” on “Holy Trinity”, and use its special banner to buff to potentially a 3++ after “detonating” for the first time. The Storm Bolter unit can work a bit more independently, using Blessed Bolts to put holes in things, but any of the core sister units could also use this to some effect in a pinch thanks to having three Storm Bolters each. The last unit of Dominions is a “spare” more stripped down “Holy Trinity” squad – I really do think that strategem is how this army gets things done against armies like Knights, as it’s the only way in the arsenal other than the lacklustre Penitent Engines to be rolling for better than 4+ to wound a knight.
Against things at the other end of the spectrum, the Flagellants threaten to tear apart the core of any sort of horde army, and they’re backed up by a huge number of bolter shots, and the fact that in a pinch the whole army can wade into combat and throw down multiple S4 sucker punches each.
Finally, of course, you have the roving, resilient terror that is Celestine, and the backline punch coming from the Exorcists.
I would love to play this army – it looks like it should be an awful lot of fun, and throws down a huge number of big threats that your opponent has to be wary of.
I’ve focused mostly on playing a “pure” Sisters army, but obviously having the “Imperium” keyword they can come out to play with other factions. I can see two obvious places for them (I’m sure there are more).
1.) As a battalion providing some psychic defence to Knights/Custodes. 3×5 Sisters and two Canonesses isn’t that much more than the loyal 32, and provide access to a very strong strategem for shutting down psychic powers, in much the same way that Black Templars occasionally pop up with knights.
2.) Buffing guard. The various nasty melee blender threats in the elites slots could complement a Catachan guard army, especially given a missionary HQ fills a role Catachans already want. A supreme command of Celestine (who passes a 6++ on to guard), a Missionary and maybe a Canoness with the Blade of Admonition is another option here.
3.) Porque no los dos? A Catachan loyal 32 and a Battalion of sisters comes in at just under 400pts if the sisters have a Missionary as one of their HQs. That’s quite a neat backup to 1600pts of Knights/Custodes.
I’m sure there are more, but the strain of pretending to care about the whims of the corpse emperor is starting to get to me, so that’s probably enough.
Sisters look like an absolute blast to play, and can put some really mean looking armies on the table. While I think there are a few things about the Beta Codex that could be improved, it is, in fact, a Beta codex, so we’ve got a chance to play with it and see how it goes in practice. I think they’ve got the tools to put together an army that can hold its own in a tournament setting, and I look forward to seeing them across the table from me in the future!